Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest airports in the world. On average, at least 200,000 passengers pass through the airport each day. Many travelers only pass through LAX while en route to another destination. However, if you have some extra time, take the chance to discover fun things to do near LAX on your next airport layover.
You can enjoy stunning beaches, historical landmarks, visit renowned shopping destinations or tour the city. Make your excursion near LAX an unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll guide you through a selection of exciting things to do near LAX.
Discover the Spectacular Beaches
What’s a visit to southern California without a stop at the beach?
Things to do near LAX are only a short distance from the airport as you’ll find some of California’s most iconic beaches.
- Including Venice Beach in your itinerary is a must. It is a popular destination with a lively boardwalk, street performers, and colorful murals, making it a vibrant place to visit.
- Don’t forget to take a walk along the Venice Canals, which are just a few blocks from the beach. These canals are a picturesque and serene spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of LA. Don’t forget to stop by the famous Muscle Beach and see the outdoor gym where Arnold Schwarzenegger used to train.
- Santa Monica Beach is a must-see destination. It has a beautiful sandy shore and the historic Santa Monica Pier. Plus, the sunset views from this beach are stunning. Whether you’re into sunbathing, surfing, or simply strolling along the shoreline, these beaches provide the perfect escape from the airport hustle.
There are several other beaches you can visit near LAX, each with its own charm and beauty. Here are three more beaches you should consider visiting:
- Manhattan Beach is only 20 minute drive from LAX. It is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a tranquil beach experience, beautiful sunsets or excellent surf conditions. If you’d like to be more active, you can bike along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. This trail extends from Pacific Palisades all the way to Torrance.
- Hermosa Beach: Hermosa Beach is another excellent option for those looking for a relaxing beach experience. The beach is known for its wide, sandy shore and excellent surf conditions. You can also enjoy beach volleyball or take a bike ride along The Strand, which offers stunning ocean views. Hermosa Beach is just a 20-minute drive from LAX.
- Dockweiler State Beach: Dockweiler State Beach is a popular spot for families and groups of friends. The beach offers a wide range of activities, including swimming, surfing, fishing, and beach volleyball. You can also take a walk along the bike path or enjoy a picnic in the day-use area. Dockweiler State Beach is just a 10-minute drive from LAX.
Immerse Yourself in the Glamour of Hollywood
For the lovers of cinema and movie history buffs
While in Los Angeles, it’s hard to resist the allure of Hollywood. If you’ve got a longer layover, drive or take a ride from LAX to Hollywood. You can stroll along the stars embedded in the sidewalk. These stars honor Hollywood legends.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre, known for its handprints and footprints of beloved celebrities, and the world-famous Dolby Theatre – home of the Academy Awards. Conveniently located right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’ll be able to see Hollywood’s most iconic attractions all in one area.
- Hollywood Bowl: The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts and events throughout the year. It is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States and offers stunning views of the Hollywood Hills.
- Griffith Observatory is located in Griffith Park and offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles. You can view space exhibits, watch shows at the planetarium, and even see the stars through telescopes (after the sun sets).
- Runyon Canyon Park: This park offers stunning views of the city and is a popular spot for hiking and outdoor recreation. It features several trails of varying difficulty levels and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Hollywood.
- Hollywood and Highland Center: This shopping and entertainment complex is located in the heart of Hollywood. This area features several shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Get your shopping on while visiting Hollywood’s treasured attractions
- The Hollywood Sign is one of LA’s most iconic landmarks. It is a must-visit attraction while in Los Angeles. The easiest way to get there is to drive. If you’re up for a workout, you can also hike up to the sign.
Shop ’til You Drop
All you need to know about the must-see shopping areas of Los Angeles to make the most things to do near LAX
Los Angeles is a paradise for shopaholics, and near LAX, you’ll find fantastic shopping destinations.
- The Grove, a premier outdoor shopping mall, offers a blend of high-end boutiques, renowned brands, and delightful dining options.
- For luxury shopping, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. There, you can browse exclusive designer stores. Enjoy the glamour, luxury and wide, tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills. These retail havens will offer an abundance of options for those who need high-end retail therapy.
- Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place are two famous shopping destinations in Los Angeles. Melrose Avenue (between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Ave) is known for its trendy boutiques, vintage stores, and unique fashion finds. The street is a great spot for people-watching and exploring the local fashion scene. Melrose Shopping District (between Fairfax Avenue and La Cienaga Blvd), is a more upscale shopping destination. It features high-end designer stores and luxury brands. Both areas are within a reasonable driving distance from LAX and offer a fantastic shopping experience. Don’t forget to explore the nearby cafes and restaurants as well!
- The Westfield Century City Mall is a premier shopping destination west of Beverly Hills. It features over 200 stores, including high-end designer brands, trendy boutiques, and popular department stores. The mall provides many dining and entertainment possibilities. Additionally, the mall features a variety of events throughout the year, including fashion shows, live music, and art exhibitions.
- Lastly, the Palisades Village is a charming outdoor shopping destination. It offers a blend of high-end shops, trendy boutiques, and delightful dining options. The Village is located in the beautiful neighborhood of the Pacific Palisades, making it a lovely place to walk around to take in the scenery. The area also features several parks and outdoor dining, providing an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoor spaces.
Explore Culinary Delights
Finding the best food fare to eat near LAX airport:
Los Angeles boasts a diverse culinary scene, and near LAX, you’ll find a variety of dining options to suit every palate.
- The trendy neighborhood of Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice offers a variety of cuisines and flavors. You can find many hip restaurants and cafes in this area. Notable restaurants include but are not limited to: Gjelina, The Butcher’s Daughter, The Fig Tree
- Have a delicious meal against the backdrop of the Santa Monica Pier and the stunning Pacific Ocean at any of these restaurants in Santa Monica: The Water Grille, Elephanté, Coast Café
- Are you a fan of Mexican cuisine? Head to the nearby neighborhoods of Venice or Playa del Rey. Indulge in delicious tacos, burritos, and margaritas!
Unwind in Nature
If you prefer a tranquil escape, immerse yourself in nature when looking for something to do near LAX
- Visit the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, a serene park. It covers a vast area, with scenic trails and picnic areas. Plus, you can enjoy stunning views of the city. Open from 6 AM to 6 PM Monday to Friday, and from 7 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Burton Chace Park in Marina Del Rey . Enjoy the park from 6 AM to 10 PM daily.
- Playa Del Rey Park Lagoon, Beach & & Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve – literally right behind LAX. The park has outdoor sports facilities, a playground for children, and an excellent walking/bike path to the beach.
- Westchester Park is a 10-minute drive from LAX and roughly an hour-long walk from LAX. This large park is situated next to the Westchester Golf Course. Stretch your legs at the playground and walking trails, or get a basketball game in at one of the outdoor courts.
Here are some things to do near LAX walking distance:
Please note that Los Angeles is a large city and public transportation is not as advanced as in other major cities. Therefore, if you want to explore more, consider other forms of transportation. You could rent a car, use a ride-sharing service, or take public transportation like buses or the Metro rail system.
- Westchester Golf Course is just a 30-minute walk from LAX. You can visit the course for a round of golf or to simply take in its beautiful scenery.
- The LAX Theme Building is an iconic space-aged structure that looks like a flying saucer. It features an observation deck, which is open on weekends. It’s located in the center of the airport, so it’s a very short walk.
- The Flight Path Learning Center & Museum is located about 20 minutes away from LAX. It is an aviation museum that provides information and exhibits about the history of flight, airlines, and LAX. They also have a great collection of model planes. It can be one of the things to do with kids near LAX.
- In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda is a famous fast-food joint. It is located just to the east of LAX. You can grab a quick bite there. It’s also a fantastic spot for plane spotting due to its proximity to the airport.
- Playa Vista Dog Park: If you are traveling with a pet, this is a great place to let them loose. It’s about a 40-minute walk from the airport.
- Visit the Westchester Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays. Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere as you stroll through the market. It’s around a 30-minute walk from LAX.
- Shopping: The Westchester area is home to several shopping options. The nearby Westchester Town Center is an outdoor shopping mall that you can walk to in about 30 minutes. It features a variety of stores and restaurants.
- Otis College of Art and Design Gallery is a great spot for art lovers. It is a 40-minute walk from LAX. This gallery usually showcases contemporary art from local artists.
- Zimmerman Automotive Museum is a farther walk, but an absolute must-see for classic car enthusiasts. Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM and free car rides with an experienced driver on Sundays.
Too Many Choices? Book a Private Tour Instead
Let your guide take care of your transportation and we’ll figure everything out for you.
Can’t decide on what to see or how to visit all the attractions in one day? To sum up, book one of our private tours of Los Angeles in a convertible classic car, or a luxury SUV. We’ll take care of the transportation, planning, and everything in between. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic views of Los Angeles as we bring you to the best places Los Angeles has to offer.
Remember to give yourself enough time…
Remember, LA is a big city with significant traffic, so factor that into your planning. Most importantly, remember to plan ahead when booking flights. Allow two hours before an international flight and 90 minutes before a domestic flight for security procedures.
Don’t Want to Carry Your Luggage?
We’ve got the solution for you while you enjoy your time in Los Angeles.
Keep an eye on your belongings. Make sure to have a secure place to store your luggage. Explore with peace of mind.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) offers multiple options for luggage storage to accommodate the diverse needs of its millions of visitors. Good to know that LAX does not provide luggage storage inside the airport due to security reasons. However, numerous off-site services are available, located just a few minutes away from the airport. These services, such as LAX Luggage Storage and Stasher, offer secure storage for different types of baggage for varying durations. It’s essential to contact these providers directly or visit their websites for the most current information, pricing, and procedures. After all, you can also utilize luggage delivery services to have your bags transported from the airport to your local destination if preferred.